What is Spinal Stenosis?

Spinal Stenosis is a disease that occurs when the space in your spine narrows, resulting in an increased amount of pressure being placed on your spinal nerves. This leads to a variety of negative and potentially painful symptoms, including muscle weakness, tingling in your extremities, loss of bladder control, and more. it can occur anywhere in your spine but usually occurs in your neck or lower back. individuals who have soinal stenosis will often have balance issues and, in more extreme cases, may have trouble moving.

Over time, spinal stenosis can be more than just painful. Those suffering from severe spinal stenosis might experience constant numbness and balance issues. If left untreated, it can limit your movement, rob you of your independence, and even potentially lead to paralysis.

What causes spinal stenosis?

Like most conditions, spinal stenosis does not have just one cause. Indeed, many things can potentially cause this disorder, including:

OSTEOARTHRITIS

Osteoartritis is a specific type of arthritis in which the cartilage between the joints in your bones will wear down over time, resulting in bone spurs. If this happens in your spine, the bone spurs can potentially reduce the space between your vertabrae, causing pressure on the nerves. Other bone disease can also potentially result in the developement of spinal stenosis.

 

INJURY OR TRAUMA TO THE SPINE

This can lead to movement in your vertebra, which results in pressure on the nerves and causes painful symptoms of spinal stenosis.

 

TUMORS

In some cases, a tumor can form in or near your spine.

 

LIGAMENT ISSUES

All of us have ligaments that help to hold up our spine. In some cases, your ligaments can tighten to the point that they move your vertabra, causing spinal stenosis.

 

How can spinal stenosis be diagnosed?

Only a trained medical professional can make the formal diagnosis, but anyone who suffers from any of the above symptoms may want to be examined for spinal stenosis. After a thorough physical examination, a doctor may order a variety of tests, including an X-ray of your neck, back, and spine. The doctor will examine the results to determine if you are show narrowing of the space in the spinal column or if you have any bone spurs that are growing in your spine. A CT scan or MRI may also be used to provide more advanced images. Additionally, you might be tested with an EMG, or electromyogram, which will be used to examine the nerve functions of tthe nerves in your legs.

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